Selectmen Nail Down Food Truck Locations (POLL)
The Board of Selectmen voted last night to approve the proposed food truck locations, combining some, losing others and adding new ones.
Locations are now set for food trucks, which could roll in as soon as April. Last night, the Board of Selectmen voted to approve the final list of locations for the mobile food truck pilot program (see map at right).
The list now includes two locations where a couple of food trucks can "cluster" together, offering multiple dining options. The Boston Area Food Truck Association have commented on the importance of clustering, as did Selectman Jesse Mermell in a BostInno column.
The program also has a number of timing options for vendors, giving them the ability to pick and choose times when they would set up in Brookline, each with parking fees payable to the Town of Brookline or the Recreation Department.
"Some vendors swear up-and-down that the only way to have a successful program is to be out five days a week, for lunch. Others say you need to rotate and have different food vendors." Economic Development Officer Kara Brewton explained, "So, we’re doing it both ways."
Brewton also hinted at one-time events as the food truck pilot program begins, suggesting bringing a number of vendor trucks into--for example--the Reservoir parking area.
Public Health Director Alan Balsam commented that "Kara [Brewton] did an amazing job reaching out to the community. Heard from the community, from restauranteurs, and we now have something about which we will be proud."
In a memo, Brewton detailed the outreach process she has undertaken to ensure existing brick-and-mortar businesses are both aware of and on-board with the program. Previously suggested locations at Babcock Street and Commonwealth Avenue and 2 Brookline Place have been taken off of the final list in response to concerns.
"One commercial landowner, one property manager, eight existing restaurants, and two non-restaurant businesses commented that allowing Food Trucks in Brookline is simply unfair," the memo states. "Other businesses also question the fairness, but are willing to go along with the pilot program as currently proposed."
There are about as many restaurants, businesses and residential areas referenced in Brewton's memo which are either for the program, or considering participating in it themselves.
The vote passed unanimously, approving the list of locations. The Board had previously passed the regulations, acknowledging that the list of locations was still pending.
[Update: A previous version of this article did not identify Kara Brewton as the town's Economic Development Officer. This has been corrected. Feb. 9, 2:35 p.m.]